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January 1997- Poetry Page 2 - Nasir-i Khusraw

Nasir-i Khusraw Poetry

Source: Shimmering Light - IIS Publication Translated by Faquir M. Hunzai
Nasir-i Khusraw, one of the most famous poets in Ismaili History has many
beautiful works to his credit. Here is a collage of his work inspired by the Word of God,
the Imam of the Time.

The Eye of the Intellect By Nasir-i Khusraw cont'd Do you not see that God is inviting you to heaven? Why do you throw yourself into the pit of hell-fire? In order to ascend to the abode of the righteous, make knowledge your feet and obedience your wings. In the battleground of our demented world, make a sword from patience and a shield from the faith. Pluck the bud of wisdom from the branch of religion; graze the hyacinth of obedience from the fields of knowledge. This world is not the abode of people who are wise; it is but a passage for us; therefore traverse it. Of what use is the branch which yields no fruit, whether it belongs to a fruit-bearing tree or not? In the sight of God, the Absolute Sovereign, this world has not the value of even an atom. Had it any value in His reckoning, do you think the unbelievers would get even one sip of water? This world is only a place of attainment for us; therefore gather quickly provisions for the Return."" In fact, this world is a book in which you see inscribed the writings of God the Almighty. O do not reject these allusions of the hujia, 39 because truth should never become an abomination. JOURNEY TO THE LIGHT By Nasir-i Khusraw My heart is filled with the slander of the people; I am therefore separated from them in speech and action. As long as my heart was blind like that of Zayd and Amr, 40 no one could find fault in me, wherever I went. Sometimes burning with passion I followed beautiful maidens; sometimes out of greed I sought the philosopher's stone, I did not fear that my life was being wasted, nor was I ashamed that I had vulgar or evil thoughts. During autumn my heart was dissipated with wine; in the springtime I happily looked for water and pasture. Complacently I sat in the midst of the watermill turning, until the hair on my head turned white as snow. I thought that the world had become my meadow, until like the cattle I became fodder for the world. If it injured me in any way, I returned to it yet again like a drunkard always drawn towards goblets of wine. The world kept me firmly under its control; thus sometimes I became prosperous and sometimes a pauper. And when my soul was worn out with the afflictions of time, I went to the door of the king to bestow praise on him. I was prepared to seek justice from the devil of the time, but all I found in the king's service was enslavement. I had to perform a hundred acts of servitude to him before I was able to fulfill even a single hope of mine. I gained nothing at all except toil and suffering from the one to whom I had gone for the sake of healing. When my heart became disappointed with kings and princes, I turned to the people of the mantle, turban and cloak. I told myself that they would show me the path of religion because the people of the world had tormented my heart. They said: "Be happy, you have been delivered from your burden"; so my soul became happy and I prayed along with them. I told myself that since these were men of knowledge, I would be released from the grip of ignorance and poverty. Therefore I wasted some years of my life with them in a lot of empty prattle and useless disputations. But their wealth and piety was only corruption and hypocrisy, and I said: "0 God, why have I become afflicted again?" It was as if by going from the king to the jurist, I had entered a dragon's mouth for fear of an ant! Time had countless ruses and pretexts to entrap me; I became caught in just such a pretext, such a deception. When it betrayed me and no escape was left to me, at last I went to the progeny of Mustafa for help. 41 I found help against the devil's persecution and cunning when I entered the sanctuary of the Imam of mankind. Shall I tell you what happened to me when I fled the devil? Suddenly I found myself in the company of angels. When the light of the Imam shone upon my soul, even though I was black as night, I became the shining sun. The Supreme Name is with the Imam of the time; through him, Venus-like, I ascended to the heavens. 42 SPEECH AND SILENCE By Nasir-i Khusraw O eloquent one! Why do you remain silent? Why do you not string pearls and corals together? If you are a rider on the mount of wisdom, why do you not come to the racecourse of men! You have seen and experienced the world; You have heard the sayings of Arabs and Persians. You have become famous in the science of geometry, from Sind and India to the borders of Khurasan. And when you are counting, the created world is like a grain of wild rue in your thinking. There are many people in the east and the west who have witnessed your claim to this science. Now that you are happy to be among the best, you should have pride over your fellow men, since from the heart of the master Mu'ayyad, 43 God has opened the door of wisdom to you. THE MASTER AND THE DISCIPLE By Nasir-i Khusraw The master turned my night into broad daylight with proofs as clear as radiant sunlight. Since he made me drink from the water of life, death has become quite insignificant to me. When I looked from the corner of his eye, I saw the earth rotating beneath my feet. He showed me the visible and hidden worlds, both located in one place, my own body. I saw the two guardians of paradise and hell 44 inhabiting the same place, my own breast. He pointed to one who is the keeper of paradise and said to me: "I am his disciple." I saw eight gates, closed in the same place, and seven other gates open, one above the other. 45 He said to me: "If you wish to enter a gate, you have to obtain his permission first." When I asked him to explain the secret to me, he recited its story from beginning to end. The master said: "He is the lord of the time, chosen by God from men and jinns. 46 THE CANDLE OF INTELLECT By Nasir-i Khusraw Kindle the candle of intellect in your heart and hasten with it to the world of brightness; If you want to light a candle in your heart, make knowledge and goodness its wick and oil. In the path of the hereafter, one should not walk on foot but with the soul and the intellect, and for provisions, you must fill the tablecloth of your heart with obedience and knowledge. 0 son, your mind is the garden of intellect, turn it not into a furnace with fumes of wine; your heart is the blessed mine of knowledge, why have you planted a perverse hardness in it? Let your heart become soft because a shirt of dusky soft silk does not befit a heart of stone; cast away ignorance from your mind because celebration does not befit a house of lament. Comprehend well the wise poetry of the hujja, for it is elevated and powerful like Mount Qaran, 47 and with the needle of reflection, prick his excellent words in your subtle heart and soul. THE MOMENTUM OF TIME By Nasir-i Khusraw 0 you who have been sleeping at night! If you have rested, do not think that time too has been resting. Consider that your personality is always on the move - do not think it eats or sleeps even for a moment! The momentum of time and the turning sphere draws all animals, by night and day, to ceaseless motion. PEARLS OF HEAVEN By Nasir-i Khusraw Above the seven spheres are two precious pearls whose light illumines the world and mankind. 48 In the placenta of non-existence, from the sperm of existence, they form images but themselves have no form. Not contained by the senses, they are not sensible; neither dark nor bright, they are not visible. Reared in pre-eternity by the holy wet-nurse, they are not pearls but have the attributes of pearls. From this side of creation and that side of the universe, within and beyond time, they are always together. They are not in the world and yet they are in it; they are not within us but nurture the soul in our bodies. It is said that they are both the worlds; therefore they are in the seven climes but not in the seven climes. 49 This one is the Holy Spirit and that one the Spirit of Gabriel; they are flying angels but have no wings. In the nest of the lower world they appear with open wings, but in the higher world they fly without wings. They are friends with the hot and the cold, the dry and the wet, as are earth and air with fire and water. 50 In the treasure-houses of pre-eternity and post-eternity, they are not pearls but recognized by the name of pearl. They are both the world and mankind, paradise and hell; they are absent and present, poison and sugar. They come from light to darkness, from heaven to earth, from the west to the east, from ocean to land. Existent and non-existent, hidden and manifest, they are without and with you in the same house. In the next world which is their forge and furnace, they are the destroyers of the building and the builder. They are the chiefs of the nine spheres and the seven planets; they give sustenance to the five senses and the four natures." Around their home, there are ten witnesses, of whom five stay inside and five stand at the door. 52 The shopkeepers of heaven come before them in order to purchase what they have to sell. They are not substance, for substance takes accident from them; they make an axis for accident, but they are not the axes. They read to you the book of secrets without letters; they know your deeds without having to see them. They appear because they are hidden; they are without head or body because they are in the head and body. Their attribute is that they are not contained in the world, but they are hidden in our head and body. They have made this world a place for you to inhabit, but for them there is no place, for they are beyond space. They come to you from a place which is not a place; there they are angels and here they are messengers. In rank, they are higher than the angelic world; like God's essence, they are neither element nor substance. Even though both the worlds are in the possession of this and that, if you wish, they can be subjugated to your soul. THE SOVEREIGN OF TIME By Nasir-i Khusraw The soul of the universe is the sovereign of time, for God has raised up the body through the soul. When the auspicious Jupiter saw his face, it became the source of munificence, the mine of good fortune. As long as the clouds of Navroz wash all quarters of the garden with showers of lustrous pearls; 53 and the nightingale laments the rose at the break of dawn, like a grieving soul separated from its lover: may the authority of the sovereign of time prevail over space and time and the denizens of the world! THE ESOTERIC AND THE EXOTERIC By Nasir-i Khusraw The exoteric of revelation is like brackish water, but the esoteric is like pearls for people who are wise. 58 Since pearls and jewels are to be found on the sea-bed, look for the pearl-diver instead of running on the shore. Why does the Maintainer of the world keep so many precious pearls concealed upon the bottom of the sea? He kept them for the Prophet with the instruction: "The esoteric is for the wise, the exoteric for the ignorant." You will get nothing but mud and salty water from the pearl-diver because of your animosity towards him. When you are searching for the meaning of revelation, do not be content with speech like a donkey braying aloud. On the Night of Power, 59 when you kindle the lamp, the mosque is filled with light, but your heart remains pitch-dark. Whether you kindle the lamp or not, understand that it will not dispel the darkness of ignorance in your heart.

Ismaili Poetry Page 1
Ismaili Poetry Page 2
Nasir Khusraw's Poetry Make a shield from Wisdom
Nasir Khusraw and more Ismaili Heroes
Al Muayyad Ismaili Hero
Poetry in the honor of Imam-e-Zamaan
Prophet Muhammad Foretold in the Scriptures
Prophet Muhammad and Bahira the Monk

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